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 The Beauty and the Beast

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Kuro

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quote : Ah ah ah, can't touch me
Registration date : 2009-06-20

PostSubject: The Beauty and the Beast   Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:05 pm

An unstable garganta opened up in the middle of the menos forest, its opening slowly widening with an inconstant speed, threatening to slam shut at any moment. Kuro fell through the opening, ending with a rough landing on the forest floor. He picked himself up and brushed himself off, looking around the area with a grim look of dedication across his face. Takeru Seo. The vizard who had tormented him as of late had now kidnapped one of Kuro's squad members. Kuro was determined to get her back and make Takeru pay for what he'd done. He began trekking through the forest, looking and feeling for any sign of the enemy. As he made his way along, his mind wandered back to the events that had brought him here.


--Flashback--

Kuro woke up with a startled spasm. His dreams had been filled with horrible images of the dark forest and the other him once again. His side was killing him, and he noticed that his wound from Takeru's bala was bandaged up. He was laying in a comfortable bed in a room which was not his own. He settled down as he noticed other people bustling about in the hallway outside the room. This was the fourth squad headquarters. He spent the next few hours going over the encounter with Takeru in the park. He was a vizard. And through his words, Kuro could only conclude that Takeru was trying to make him into one as well. That was the logical answer when comparing what Takeru had said and the discussion Kuro had had with his zanpakuto. When he thought of his squad member being held prisoner by such a monster, Kuro couldn't lay there and do nothing anymore. He sat up to test the extent of his recovery. Feeling only a dull ache in his side, compliments of the fantastic work done by the healing squad, he stood up and prepared to leave. One of the nurses noticed his activity and tried to get him back in bed, claiming that he wasn't well enough to be up and about yet. Kuro merely ignored these words and shunpoed out the window, heading for the labs of squad 12.

When he reached the labs Kuro stormed in, much to the surprise of the squad 12 members inside. He demanded that they find a way to send him to hueco mundo, and if they could find a less conspicuous means it would be all the better. The members resisted at first, saying that they could not do that, but Kuro's patience was not strong today. He grabbed the closest member by his lab coat and could feel the dark influence taking advantage of his anger and impatience as he roared at the member to find a way. The members worked swiftly after this order, appearing to be slightly afraid of Kuro at this point. He sank into a corner himself, still weary after his fight and feeling low for the way he was behaving. But he assured himself that it was the right thing to do to save his squad member. After a couple of hours, the squad members informed him that they were ready. The research wasn't fully available to them on their lower level, but they had been able to piece together some of the works of Mayuri Kurotsuchi and figure out how to create a garganta. Kuro said that that was excellent and ordered them to send him to hueco mundo right away. They continued to try and talk him out of it, saying that they were unsure of their ability to keep the garganta safely intact long enough for him to get to the other side. Kuro said that he was willing to take the risk and went through without hesitation once the garganta was opened.


--Present Time--

Kuro was sure that he had made the right choice. If he'd tried to use a senkaimon to get here, the unusual activity would surely draw a lot of hollows his way. And he didn't want to waste time by forcing his way through the whole force of hueco mundo. Mika was waiting. He continued to sneak through the forest until his name was called.

"Akarui-Taichou?" Kuro turned and saw two tiny figures cloaked in hoods and capes. The one on the left spoke in a submissive monotone, showing that they had no intent of fighting. "We're here under the orders of Seo-sama. We are to escort you to his home." Kuro was suspicious of this, but he had to accept since he didn't have any other leads on where to find Takeru.

"Lead the way then. I have some business with that guy to take care of." The children bowed and began to walk through the forest while Kuro followed slightly behind.
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Kuro

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quote : Ah ah ah, can't touch me
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PostSubject: Re: The Beauty and the Beast   Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:21 am

Kuro was unsure of whether or not he was making the right move. Following these guides would help him find Takeru, but could also be making him play into Takeru's traps again. That shinigami had proven himself to be a manipulating man who always seemed to be two moves ahead of the competition. And his latest trump card revealed in their last fight bothered Kuro the most. He was a vizard, a shinigami and hollow hybrid with an enormous amount of power at his disposal. Adding in his assets like his powerful zanpakuto and any lackeys he likely had serving him, he would likely have an elaborate plan in place to deal with Kuro. But this wasn't the only worry that Kuro was running through his head. Takeru had said that Kuro was becoming "one of them". He could only imagine that those words meant that Takeru was somehow turning him into a vizard too. But for what purpose. Kuro's silent questions were interrupted by the guides. "We're here." They were standing on either side of a set of sliding doors leading into a tunneling structure that stretched on a downward slope into the ground of the menos forest. They each held out an arm, indicating that Kuro was to walk into the tunnel. He eyed the dark passage with suspicion, waiting for some kind of trick to reveal itself. But nothing happened and Kuro sighed as he found himself with no choice to to play along. He strode past the tiny guides and walked through the doors.

The tunnel was dimly lit by soft lights spaced along its ceiling. Its interior was entirely white and smooth with no discernible landmarks to let Kuro know how far he'd progressed into the structure. His footsteps echoed inside the narrow space, and he heard the sounds of two additional pairs of feet keeping in step with him from behind. His guides to this place had apparently accompanied him inside. After Kuro had lost track of how long they'd been walking, he emerged from the end of the tunnel into a large, box-shaped room. It had the same white floor, walls, and ceiling as the tunnel and a door on the other side. A single bright light shone from the middle of the ceiling and filled the room with light. But aside from the light, there was nothing in the room. As Kuro scanned the room and took note of its characteristics, a door slid shut over the entrance to the tunnel he'd just come through. He turned back to it and tried to get it open, but was unable. The cloaked figures who had brought him here spoke from behind him, standing in the center of the room. "There is no turning back Taichou. You must defeat us and advance. That is the only way to reach your enemy...and your friend." As Kuro spun to face them, the figures threw off their cloaks and revealed themselves. They were only little boys to Kuro's eyes, but his senses could feel that they were exuding a great force of power. He drew his zanpakuto in response to them doing so and pointing them towards him. He didn't feel right about this, but he'd do anything necessary to save Mika.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Somewhere much deeper in the base, Mika Nishino awoke to find herself hanging by her wrists, chains suspending her in an upright position. She found her footing and realized that her feet were shackled as well, leaving her with no options of movement. She struggled against the bindings, but discovered that it was to no avail. She was captured with no hope of escape without help. She stopped struggling and let herself hang limp from her wrist chains. The room she was in was very dark, only a single light shining a cone of illumination down on her. The rest of the space was mostly engulfed by shadows, leaving her unable to even get a good feel for its layout. As she gave up and hung from the chains, the steady sound of somebody slowly clapping their hands drifted out from the darkness. She heard footsteps and gradually came to see the shape of a man walking toward her. Half stepping into the light, Takeru Seo revealed himself as the one clapping. "You sure aren't difficult little lady. I so expected you to continue struggling for a longer period of time. But thankfully, you settled down quickly enough. Now we won't have to miss it." Mika glared at her captor, not having forgotten the scene in the park where he had been threatening to kill Kuro and had attacked her when she tried to help. "Where are we and what's happened to Kuro-Taichou!?"

"Patience my dear. I'll answer any questions you have in due time. But if you are worried about Kuro, then just take a look." A beeping sound sounded from somewhere near Takeru and the darkness in front of Mika's spotlight was suddenly pierced by the light of a bright monitor showing a video of a large white room. Mika looked closely and saw that standing in the room was Kuro and two boys.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Kuro darted forward and started with a high speed frontal attack towards the boy on the left. Both of his opponents scattered, one going left while the other leaped to the right. Kuro followed his original target and shunpoed to catch up to him. The boy brought up his blade to parry Kuro's strike, but Kuro's advantage of size allowed him to push the boy off balance and to the ground. He was about to turn his attention to the other boy when a strong reiatsu surged from the tiny opponent. Kuro turned back and saw a plain white mask, much like a normal hollow's, on the boy's face. Kuro was forced to parry with his own blade as the boy leaped at him violently from the floor, snarling like a wild animal. The boy's strength was boosted, as was his speed. Kuro pushed him off and tried to take his distance, but found his path blocked by the other boy, now donning an identical mask. They were both vizards, likely created by Takeru. The two began a pincer attack on Kuro, each attacking his back while he was focused on the other. Kuro was second guessing himself again as he tried to block and dodge all of their attacks. He had thought he was ready to do whatever it took, but the thought of hurting children was making him hesitate. He saw a chance and tried to attack, but found himself involuntarily pausing for just a moment. In that critical moment, the boy made a counter attack and slashed Kuro across his front. Blood flew from Kuro's wound and his breathing became harsh as the pain spread through his body. As if in response to the pain, a feeling shot through Kuro. He didn't know why, but he felt more alert now. As the rear boy moved in to finish him, Kuro kicked back violently with his foot and sent the poor kid flying. Before he could recover and provide assistance, Kuro shunpoed at the one who had slashed him and roughly grabbed his robes. Kuro's own power flared out and clashed with the massive power of the vizard child. Kuro's was clearly stronger, revealing that these kids were of a low level of strength, even though they were vizards. Kuro didn't hesitate this time and slammed the boy into the floor hard. The kid had no longer than a moment before Kuro's blade plunged into his chest. Kuro dragged the blade down through his torso to heighten the damage, knowing that a single stab wouldn't kill him. The boy's mask cracked, revealing his blank dead face and Kuro turned to see the other child dashing at him with a cry of rage. Kuro scowled and pointed his index finger at him. "Hado #4: Byakurai." A bolt of lightning leaped from Kuro's finger and shot at the boy. He dodged to the left, receiving only a slight burn on his side, but found Kuro meeting him at his shifted position, having beaten him with a shunpo. Kuro's blade flashed quickly, and the surprised child's body fell to the floor, followed immediately by his severed head. Kuro grimaced at what he'd just been forced to do. His hands were shaking as he returned his zanpakuto to his robes. The door on the opposite side of the room from where he'd entered slid open to allow him entry to another dim tunnel. Kuro muttered a quiet word of apology to the boys and continued on his journey into the depths of Takeru's base.
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Kuro

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quote : Ah ah ah, can't touch me
Registration date : 2009-06-20

PostSubject: Re: The Beauty and the Beast   Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:18 pm

Mika stared at the monitor in front of her in a pitying silence. Since Takeru had turned on the monitor, she had watched Kuro go through three different sealed rooms. He was forced to fight powerful opponents in each one, all of them revealing hollow masks at some point or another. Something seemed to be changing in Kuro as he continued too. After his shock at having to fight and kill little boys, he was starting to show less care and concern for his opponents, mercilessly killing them in brutal, painful ways. Tears were starting to form in Mika's eyes as she watched these events unfold in horror. Takeru merely spoke to Kuro's image on the monitor with delight.

"Very good Kuro! You are making remarkable progress! You will reach your point of transformation very soon. I couldn't be any prouder."

Mika couldn't contain herself anymore and began to uselessly strain against her bindings as she spoke in disgust to Takeru. "What are you doing to my captain, and what is the purpose? You're putting him through hell and just watching it in ecstasy! You are a monster!"

"Exactly right Missy. I'm sure you saw my mask in the park. I am a monster as far as you and your soul society is concerned. But I see it as something different than a monster. It's evolution. The next stage of our power that the fools in the Gotei refuse to pursue."

Mika stopped her struggling and stared at her insane captor with disbelief. "So what part do I play in all of this? And tell me why you keep bothering Kuro-taichou!"

"Paitience...I was getting to all of that. Kuro is my key out of a rut. As much progress I have made, I have had limited success in creating true vizards like myself. I'm sorry to say that my own transformation was an accident that I have mostly failed to replicate. Only one other subject of mine has awakened as a vizard with their full potential. The others gave into the hollow inside themselves too quickly and the blend of hollow and shinigami was imperfect. Didn't it seem odd to you that not one of Kuro's opponents so far has used a released state of their zanpakuto? The hollow power they gave into has locked their zanpakuto powers away from their access. They are imperfect beasts usable only for fodder to stimulate the growth of those with higher potential." Takeru sighed as if taking a breather, then turned his gaze towards the monitor now showing Kuro in yet another room fighting a group of four vizards, all of whom had abandoned their blades and were fighting Kuro with beastly savagery. Takeru's face was shining with awe as he watched Kuro return their savagery back at them. "Kuro has resisted the transformation wonderfully so far, letting the darkness slowly creep into his very being. I feel that he may be the perfect specimen, resisting until the very end and becoming the perfect mix of shinigami and hollow. He'll join me as the head of my army and we'll destroy all who get in my way! Hahahahahahaha!" Takeru broke into a fit of laughter that continued for several moments. Mika saw nothing to gain from trying to talk to him at that point. He calmed himself down and continued his oddly willing divulgence of information. "As for your part in this, right now you are no more than the bait to lure Kuro to me. He seems to care for you deeply. Must be the responsibility of his captain status. But that will fade in time. After Kuro is fully transformed, perhaps I will make you my next subject."

A voice broke into the conversation as Takeru finished, the speaker completely hidden in the darkest recesses of the room. "Excuse me Seo-sama, Kuro has made it past the final group. Shall I go to him now?" Mika strained to see the female speaker, but was unable. Takeru's face brightened even more as he heard the news and replied. "Yes, yes, yes!!! This will be the ultimate test of Kuro's skills! Go and push him to his limits! Make me proud!"

The hidden figure made her way to a spot at the wall of the room, her footsteps echoing as she walked. A door slid open in front of her, letting a stream of light into the dark room. Mika tried to get a good look at her as she left, but could only see the dark shape of a thin woman with a long thin blade strapped to her back. Takeru chuckled as the door shut itself again. "Hehe, we're about to witness some drama that is sure to test the strength of Kuro's heart. Make sure to pay attention."

(ooc: The "Beauty" makes her appearance next post! Who is she? And how will Kuro fare against her? Keep reading to find out. lol Razz)
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Kuro

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quote : Ah ah ah, can't touch me
Registration date : 2009-06-20

PostSubject: Re: The Beauty and the Beast   Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:47 am

Kuro was past annoyed by this point. What did Takeru hope to gain by forcing him to participate in these foolish fights? Most likely trying to wear him out before he got to Takeru himself. He did seem like the type that would use dirty tactics like that. But regardless of that, Kuro felt like that plan wasn't turning out like Takeru planned. He felt great. His body felt like he had hardly used any power at all. Takeru was a fool for underestimating him like this. He'd make him pay for putting him through all of this. Kuro made his way down the latest sloped tunnel after his previous fight. He scowled as he walked, growing impatient towards Takeru's mind games. He sighed as the tunnel ended and he emerged into yet another plain room. He walked to the room's center and hastily glanced all around to find whoever was waiting to stall him this time. He saw nobody, and that made him grow anxious. It was probably an ambush. He reached in his robes and gripped his zanpakuto in wait. At the sound of a light fit of laughter, he spun on the spot...then dropped his arms out of his robes to hang limp at his sides. "It can't be....."

Standing in the doorway that Kuro had just come from was a pretty woman who was wielding a long katana type zanpakuto that was as tall as her. She had it slung across her shoulders resting behind her neck as she grinned at Kuro with a mischievous smile that completely contradicted the shocked look he felt spreading across his face. The figure, the long purple hair, and that ridiculously long blade...there was no doubt that it was her...Hikari Getsuai, a girl that had been in Kuro's classes in his academy days and had joined the second squad shortly after him. The two of them had been friends as well as rivals. And Hikari was the first girl that Kuro had ever loved. It had been reported that she had been killed on a mission shortly before Kuro had been promoted to the captain seat. Now, it was apparent that the report had been mistaken.

"Hikari..." Kuro's voice trailed, not able to find words to say after all of this time. He'd lived the past couple of years thinking she was dead. Seeing her in front of him well and alive was immensely shocking. Her eyes narrowed over her still grinning mouth. "Don't get all emotional now. You'll lose your head if you think I'm still the weak girl that you felt like protecting all the time." Her face changed in an instant, becoming hardened and bloodthirsty as she shunpoed at Kuro with impressive speed. Her long blade flashed as she swung it as soon as she was in range. Kuro was forced to bring out his short blade to parry the blow and keep her weapon back as he slid in closer to her. "Hikari...why are you doing this? What's wrong with you? Don't you remember me and your comrades in the gotei?" He was pushed to the side as she shoved violently with her sword to knock him away. "I told you not to get emotional. Concentrate on the fight! The Hikari that you knew is gone!"

Kuro was devastated. And that was causing the feelings inside of him to clash again. The violent nature that had been building up inside of him while he progressed through Takeru's base was battling with the hurt and confused feelings of being reunited with and attacked by his old friend. She seemed to take offense to his slow willingness to fight and responded by more fiercely attacking him again. Moving with unbelievable speed, she struck twice with her blade. The first attack knocked Kuro's blade out of her way, leaving his front open for her second attack to deliver a massive slash that sent his blood splattering to the floor. The long blade also pushed Kuro back as it slashed him, leaving him to fall on one knee and stare at the ground. Hikari returned her blade to its resting position and huffed in disappointment. "You're a disgrace. Is this all you have to offer after all this t-..." she stopped speaking as Kuro's reiatsu flared out in a grim wave, flooding the room they were in with a heavy pressure. He raised his head, staring at her from his kneeling position. His eyes were shining with a furious power that was unrevealing of the shock he'd been showing before. "If you want a fight, then I'll give you one!"

"About time you got serious, but don't forget what you always lost to me in." Hikari brandished her blade again and let loose her own reiatsu, easily matching and pushing past the level of Kuro's. It had been the first way they'd met in the academy. A training exercise of trying their reiatsus against their classmates' had revealed Hikari to have an impressive force hidden inside of her. The two reiatsus now caused the room to rumble, building up to the moment their fight resumed.
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Kuro

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quote : Ah ah ah, can't touch me
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PostSubject: Re: The Beauty and the Beast   Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:22 am

Kuro's face was no longer showing the shocked look of stupidity and heartbreak he'd been feeling before. He was now as serious as Hikari wanted. Both of them had their eyes locked on each other in dangerous death glares that just dared the other to break the eye contact. Kuro growled as he got to his feet and began to slowly pace to the side. Hikari followed the motion and a tense session of circling the room was begun. Kuro didn't want to give her the chance to make a plan and get the upper hand on him, so he decided to attack with no real plan of his own and just overwhelm her with his speed. He launched himself out of the circling pace with a shunpo to her left, but stopped midway after she'd reacted to follow his path and shunpoed again to reach her full right side. He emerged with his zanpakuto released into its shikai form, glowing with compressed spirit energy. Not feeling merciful or hesitant anymore, he slammed his gauntlet into Hikari's side, sending her crashing into the opposite wall of the room, which cracked under the impact of her body. She slumped to the floor, but Kuro didn't move. He wasn't going to fall for a trick like that. One attack like that would have bothered her in the past, but her power level was on a different scale now. The level of this fighting would only escalate from here.

Hikari slowly found her footing again, lightly holder her side where Kuro had punched her. "Ow, you let go of your surprise quicker than I expected. And you even released your zanpakuto silently. Seo-sama is surely happy about that. But I'm not done with you yet. We still have more fun to enjoy! Engulf him Kagehime!" At Hikari's release command, her long katana glowed with an eerie crimson energy and transformed into the blood red scythe that Kuro had fought many times in spars in the past. Hikari wasted no time and charged at Kuro with this weapon raised, ready to swing down and slice him in two. He accepted her challenge and matched her charge, both of them closing in with extreme speed. As the final distance closed between them, Hikari's shadow rose out of the ground like a long dark tendril that split into four separate threads of darkness, all of which advanced on Kuro in front of Hikari. Hikari gasped in surprise as all four tendrils were severed, dissolving into nothingness and returning to her feet as her plain shadow. Kuro was standing with an oddly shaped weapon, with four sword blades branching out from a starting point attached to his hand. Each of the blades was positioned to match one of the positioned spots that Hikari had attacked with her tendrils. Kuro was not surprised. "We may have been apart for a long time, but I haven't forgotten your zanpakuto or its abilities. You won't be getting any surprise attacks on me. I have to give you credit though. When we last fought together, you still weren't able to use the tendril ability while in motion. You had to concentrate on your shadow while standing still."

Hikari snarled and put an end to the conversation by resuming her attack. A long stalemate ensued since both of them knew each other's abilities. Even with his faster speed and her superior spirit pressure, the two were pretty much evenly matched. After one final clash that sent the two skidding back from each other, Hikari grinned again. "I think it's about time we put all our cards on the table, wouldn't you agree?" Her reiatsu began to fluctuate and focus in a way that Kuro didn't recognize from her, but understood the meaning behind the feeling combined with her words. "So you've reached that level...very well!" He focused his own power internally. When their concentration was high enough, both of them cried out at the same time.

"Ban-kai!"
"Bankai!"
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Kuro

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quote : Ah ah ah, can't touch me
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PostSubject: Re: The Beauty and the Beast   Fri Jun 17, 2011 6:17 pm

Kuro's bankai appeared with a flash of a pillar of energy that shone brightly for a moment. He was now clad in a black with gold trim ninja suit. Hikari's bankai emerged slower. The light in the room seemed to dim as if blocked out by some force. Hikari's shadow at her feet rose out of the ground behind her, looking like a pitch black copy of her. The only thing that was different was that the shadow had no feet, but was instead still attached to the ground behind Hikari. The shadow clone then began to grow in size, quickly dwarfing both Hikari and Kuro. It's shape grew distorted, losing the slim figure of Hikari and becoming more built like a strong person with large muscles. Like Hikari, it held a scythe, pitch black like its own body and long enough to slash at Kuro from clear across the room. Kuro wasn't as surprised as one might have thought. Bankais the size of his were rare, the more likely being the large size that Hikari's demonstrated. She seemed confident that hers was stronger. And her power was only growing in magnitude as a thin crescent of a mask appeared on the side of her face. She was using her bankai and her hollow powers in an effort to wipe Kuro out.

"My bankai, Yaminojogi Kagehime. (Shadow Princess, Ruler of Darkness) Your bankai may make you stronger or faster, but you can't beat the queen of the underworld."

"We shall find out if that's true soon." Kuro replied as he focused his power. The rings on his bankai's sash began to light up one by one. He had enough time to light 3 of them before Hikari attacked and forced him to break his concentration. Her shadow giant mimiced her movement as she slashed her scythe at thin air in front of her. The giant's scythe easily reached where Kuro was standing, forcing him to shunpo out of the way. He took refuge near the wall since the confinement of the room would limit her giant's attacks near the edges. Hikari only grinned evily as Kuro backed up to the wall with his eyes locked on her and her bankai. Before he could react, black tendrils shot out of the wall behind him and wrapped around him, binding him to the side of the room. Hikari laughed with a cackle that was not like her. Or at least not like Kuro remembered her.

"My bankai allows me to make use of any shadow in the area. Your own shadow has no choice but to submit to the ruler of darkness and betray you."

"Very sneaky...but not good enough." Kuro spoke with more confidence than he really felt. he had a plan, but he had to keep her talking for it to work. Her old pride with this new strength of hers just might make her cocky enough to fall for it.

"That's just bravado on your part. You were always one step ahead of me. It sickens me to think back on all those times that you had to save the day. All the times that my strength wasn't good enough, leaving you to deal the finishing blow. Seo-sama found me and saw the potential I had. He helped me to gain strength and reach a point higher than you so that you can never look down on me again. After I finish you off, I'll...what!?"

Hikari had paused in her rant as Kuro's power surged and he broke the tendrils binding him with a strong flex of his limbs. Six of his sash's rings were now lit. The strength that his compressed spirit energy was now imbuing him with was incredible.

"How did you-?"

"Isn't it obvious? Your obsession with humiliating me and failure to efficiently finish me off gave me enough time to power up my bankai. At the level it is now, you're tricks can't beat me." As Kuro spoke, he glimpsed out of the corner of his eye a motion as his shadow rose up out of the ground like a black clone of himself, now a puppet under Hikari's command. He silently raised a palm and blasted the specter with a short release of power from one of his gauntlets. Hikari was frozen in disbelief as Kuro returned his attention to her. She could only watch as he shunpoed faster than ever, fueled by the compressed power in his suit, and appeared right in front of her. Catching her in an embrace with one arm behind her back, Kuro whispered in her ear, "Sorry." and immediately slammed his other hand into her stomach with a crushing blow. His attack didn't end there. As his palm made contact, he extended a spike of energy from his gauntlet that pierced through Hikari's stomach, leaving a fatal wound in her that would be impossible to recover from. He sank to his knees holding her as her bankai faded and her zanpakuto turned back into its katana form. She rested her head on his shoulder and spoke with a fading voice. "I was jealous of you Kuro. I didn't like being the one who was weak and had to be saved. But in the end, you had to save me again...from myself. Thank you, and don't forget...that I...always........loved....yo-...."

Hikari's body went limp as her sentence cut off. Kuro rose from the ground leaving her body behind and mached stiffly for the door to the next passage. His eyes were furious beyond measure and he was out for vengeance.
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Registration date : 2009-06-20

PostSubject: Re: The Beauty and the Beast   Sat Jul 30, 2011 4:23 am

In Takeru's observation room, Mika had reached the limits of her grief and was broken down in sobs that echoed through the dark room. Tears streamed down her face as she watched Kuro leave behind the body of his first love. He'd gone through so much pain and torture, and it wasn't even over yet. Behind her, Takeru didn't seem to be in as high of spirits as before. "Damn it Hikari, your pride was always your weak point. The strength your mask gave you made you overconfident, and that's why you gave him time to strike back. Completely foolish....and useless girl." He seemed to brighten up again as he cast the defeated servant out of his mind and focused on Kuro again. "Kuro on the other hand is everything I'd hoped for. He quickly got over the shock of fighting his old girlfriend, and near effortlessly destroyed her. Just one more nudge should do it." They waited, she in horror and him in anticipation, until the door Hikari had exited through slid open again to reveal Kuro outlined in the hallway's light. Takeru smiled in ecstasy as he pushed a button on his visor to remotely illuminate the room they were in.

The door shut behind Kuro as he gazed at the enormous size of this space they were in. Except for a few monitors and interfaces around the sides, the room was empty, though some lines in the ground hinted that it was merely a changed appearance and that other devices could be raised into the room upon Takeru's need of them. After taking in the size of the room, Kuro's gaze was locked onto the two other inhabitants of the space. He saw his squad member, Mika, chained near the opposite wall from where Kuro stood, with the mastermind of this whole event standing beside her, looking as full of himself and his plans as always. Kuro's bankai shone with energy as his fury pushed his power into a frenzy, the six lit circles on his sash still shining brightly. He spoke in a low, strained voice, as though he was going to snap and go berserk at any second. "You have used me as a toy for too long Seo. Now you are going to die."

"Oh very nice Kuro." Takeru replied while slowly clapping his hands in a mocking manner. "I love what you've done with your nice attitude. Such excess garbage is best thrown away. You don't even show a hint of the original reason you came to this dangerous place....something about rescuing a certain lovely lady?"

"Shut up! Your word games are over!" Kuro's words lashed as he shunpoed with a speed fueled by his bankai and crossed the space of the room in a flash. Slamming Takeru with his gauntlet, he crushed him into the wall, cracking it halfway up to the ceiling. Kuro was breathing heavily as the dust from the impact cleared, obviously losing himself to his rage. Takeru emerged from the wall's new crater, holding up his large shield shikai release. "Very dangerous Kuro. If I was any less of a man, I would have been annihilated by that attack. But you know that it won't be that easy." Kuro responded by snarling like a beast and firing energy blasts out of both of his gauntlets. Takeru smiled again as he hid behind his shield and the zanpakuto absorbed both of the blasts. "After all you've been through, you still...can't...beat...me." What happened next was truly terrifying. Kuro threw back his head and roared at the ceiling of the room with a sound that did not sound like a human. His power began to leak out of him regardless of his bankai containing it and he glowed with an eerie light as a mask began to slowly form on his face. Mika screamed in protest, but Takeru stepped forward with the utmost happiness spread over his face. "Yes! It's finally here! Kuro will now be one of us...my finest creation!" Mika watched with tears still flowing as Kuro's head slumped forward again, his body still glowing, the mask slowly beginning to take shape like a shogun's face guard. Takeru turned to sneer back at her. "Now we simply wait."

Kuro suddenly found himself outside of Takeru's base. But it didn't take him long to figure out what had happened. The scene that had plagued his dreams was now laid out before him again; the dark and overgrown forest that had once been his tranquil soul world. Only a waning sliver of the moon still persisted to shine down on the thorny wood paths. Kuro walked slowly through the overpowering brush as he made his way towards where the clearing should be. As he walked, he noticed that he didn't feel as angry anymore. He was in touch with himself again. He then heard someone arguing and quickened his pace. In a few minutes, he found himself on the edge of the clearing, which was now growing with knee high grass. It was slightly lit by the sliver moon's shine, and what was in that light alarmed Kuro. He saw the opposite of himself, pale in skin and attire color, standing over the kneeling figure of Kuro's zanpakuto, Seishou-Seijin, which it held by the throat.

"Your time is over old man." the copy was declaring as Kuro came close enough to make sense of their words. "You and that former master of yours are history. It's my turn to rule this world and outer body. And there's nothing you can do to stop it."

"Oh really?" Kuro cut in and drew the other's attention. "I don't recall allowing you to stay fiend. I want my soul and my sanity back." He clenched his fist and held it out, beckoning his zanpakuto spirit. "Come Seishou-seijin. I would rather not do this alone." The spirit obliged and faded from the hollow's grasp and formed into Kuro's gauntlet on his outstretched clenched hand. The hollow only scoffed. "You don't think that you're at an advantage do you? He's just another part of you like I am. We are all connected, which means that he's on my side too!" As Kuro watched, his hollow raised its own hand and a white gauntlet formed on its arm mirroring Kuro's. A ghostly image of Seishou-sejin appeared behind Kuro and explained the current situation. "He's been biding his time, creeping slowly into your heart ever since you were struck with that strange spell. But now that he has shown himself and challenged you, we are able to kill him and undo what the enemy has done to you."

"That's a relief Seishou-seijin, but you are mistaken about one thing. He wasn't created by Takeru's spell alone. The suppressed feelings of rage I held within my heart in order to maintain a calm and responsible self slowly gave birth to him. I've been living a lie in the second squad, even more so after becoming its captain. As calm as I am, I can't deny the feelings that I feel in certain situations. I will always be what my past made me. I was an impulsive thief in my youth in order to survive in a harsh environment. Joining the soul society, I was given friends that I cherish above all else, and I hate for them to be threatened. I have to stop denying that truth in order to banish this monster for good."

"That's beautiful Kuro-sama," the hollow spat the honorific at Kuro with disgust, "now if your self reflection is over, it's about time I claimed what should have been mine from the start!" The hollow leapt forward with its gauntlet raised. Kuro responded by focusing his power and extending a blade of energy from his own gauntlet, slashing at the foe when he came down upon him. Both roared with defiance as a quick paced battle began to ensue.

Back in Takeru's base, Kuro's body had begun to move. The mask covering his face was now beginning to branch out and form an entire shogun helmet on his head. His skin appeared to be crystallizing, forming a hard armor all over his body. This appeared like the worst thing to Mika, but Takeru seemed upset by it too. "No, this isn't right. He's fighting the transformation too soon! He was supposed to live with the mask for a short time to feel its power and accept it. But now it's come down to a final resistance of whether or not he'll gain control. Either way, he'll become a vizard, but if he wins this fight it'll be harder to train him."

Kuro and his hollow had been fighting for several minutes in the soul world in the seconds it took for Takeru to make his observations and voice his concerns. As the hollow took another swing of its gauntlet, Kuro swayed out of the way and returned with a punishing counter that crushed the right ribs of his foe. The hollow stumbled back clutching its side, and with a snarl of rage flashed in a light that faded to reveal it clad in Seishou-seijin's bankai, with six of the sash rings lit. Kuro and his zanpakuto spirit did the same, the sash they materialized lighting up its rings in almost no time at all, due to the setting of their fight. The hollow laughed and began to focus power in it's gauntlets. "Let me show you my power, and maybe then you'll admit that I'm better for this body." Two large blocks of spirit power formed on the palms of the hollow, and as Kuro watched, several cone shaped spikes extended from the blocks. The hollow sneered as it fired these spikes at Kuro in a vicious assault that shredded the sides of his arms, body, and legs...but missed any vital areas. "Wouldn't want you to think that was my only trick." The hollow focused again, and before Kuro could attack to stop it, it fired dozens of streams of energy from its gauntlets. The streams sailed out and around Kuro in a big miss. As Kuro tried to piece together what their purpose had been, one of the streams grazed him from behind. Turning in surprise, he saw that all of the energy blasts were curving their paths to fly back at him again. "Impossible!" he cried before being engulfed in the little blasts. He was in sorry shape when the cloud of dirt and grass thrown up by the blast had cleared.

Lying on the ground, Kuro was covered in small wounds from the homing blasts. Blood stained the clearing's grass around him as he factored what had just happened. It seemed that his hollow had a better control of his zanpakuto's abilities, and was able to combine its second and third abilities for a variety of attacks that were beyond Kuro's level of control. He turned his head to stare up from the ground at the hollow, now folding its hands in concentration. The final ring on its sash lit up and its power exploded from it, forming a demonic looking flower above it, different than the usual peaceful lotus flower that displayed on Kuro's release of his bankai's final ability. The flower was absorbed back into the hollow's suit as tiny specks of light began to form and float towards it. Kuro managed to push himself up on his knees off the ground, but he found that he was suddenly feeling a lot weaker. He then saw specks exiting his own body to float towards his hollow. The opponent laughed with delight as it continued to show off this ability.

"With my seventh ring lit, I can even absorb energy from other people. Better than your limited talent for drawing it out of the area. Now you are powerless, wounded, and just waiting for me to put you out of your-"

"Don't lose Taichou!" a female voice echoed through the soul world as Kuro slowly managed to get back on his feet. "You have to win!" Kuro smiled as Mika's voice reached him. That girl always managed to surprise him one way or another. He shunpoed at the hollow in a straight attack, which was looked down on considerably by the hollow. "You fool!" it roared as it shunpoed faster, ending up behind Kuro. Kuro had expected as much and somersaulted forward, extending a blade of energy from his boot as it flipped up at the hollow. The blade tore through the hollow's body and left him with a fatal gash leading up the side of his front torso all the way to his shoulder top. He hunched over as Kuro slowly got to his feet again and sluggishly made his way over to stand over him, the same way he'd seen him standing over Seishou-seijin. The hollow immediately tried to take the coward's way out. "Wait a moment, I surrender. You can have control of me and my powers. We can even fight together to destroy everyone!"

Kuro's face shown bright suddenly. Glancing up, he saw the moon beginning to fill out again, slowly beginning to bathe the clearing in its pale light again. He formed another blade of energy on his left gauntlet's palm and raised it above his head. "Not interested. You are a demon born from my dark emotions and my instincts. I now banish you forever from my very being." Kuro slashed down, cleaving the hollow in two. As its body faded, the moon completed its transition to become full again. The forest also returned to its previous state, mysterious and beautiful as it surrounded the freshly trimmed grass of the clearing. Seishou-seijin appeared beside him again and offered its congratulations.

"Well done master. The beast is gone again. Your world is returning to the way it was before it began to influence you." Kuro turned to glance at the spirit out of the corner of his eyes. "I didn't do it alone. I had help from you...and her." Kuro recalled the timely inspiration Mika had offered. "There's still one more enemy to fight. You ready Seishou-seijin?" The ninja spirit knelt on one knee in a show of obedience. "I am always by your side Master Kuro." Kuro shut his eyes and felt himself leaving the soul world behind.

In the base, Kuro's hollow mask and hardened skin suddenly burst, sending fragments showering over the room. Takeru stared in disbelief as Kuro opened his eyes and raised one of his hands, brandishing it in front of him as a blade of spirit energy grew from the end. He looked much calmer and more on task as he coolly spoke to him. "I shall be taking my dear squad member back now."
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Registration date : 2009-06-20

PostSubject: Re: The Beauty and the Beast   Fri Aug 05, 2011 4:11 am

Takeru was growing ugly with rage as his face grimaced with the realization of Kuro's resistance. "You.....Kuro......how could you.....so rudely....." He seemed to be having trouble forming his sentences as the words slowly left his mouth. Kuro could tell that he was not only surprised by Kuro's complete banishing of the hollow, but furious that all of his time, effort, and resources had now been used for a failed experiment. But suddenly, a crazy smile began to spread across his face as his mad mind finally snapped. "I'll teach you what happens when you so rudely refuse a gift Kuro." As Kuro stood before him, not surprised by the unfolding events, Takeru began to form his mask like he had back in the park. A white yang shaped comma of a mask, decorated with a small yin shape on its surface, formed on the left side of his face, covering from his chin all the way up his cheek to his forehead. The top of the mask spread out over both of his eyes, with two slits of eye holes revealing the savage yellow eyes glaring at Kuro behind the mask. Mika shrieked as Takeru lunged at Kuro, and the two of them began a fight to the death.

Unaided by the hollow power in him any longer, Kuro was starting to feel the weariness of having fought through so many hard battles to get to this point. But the absence of the dark savagery also cleared his head more. While he was still furious with Takeru, intent on killing him for involving Mika and Hikari in all of this, he was able to think clearly and use his speed to not take further damage. Takeru broke their exchange of slashes and kicks by firing a white lightning hado at Kuro's chest. Kuro dodged backwards, and was met with three black waves of energy fired from Takeru's "claws" on his shield. Using a blade of energy on one of his gauntlets, Kuro slashed all of them away. Landing gracefully on the ground, Kuro smirked in cockiness, seeing that he'd been able to work his way between Takeru and Mika. Whirling on the spot, he sliced accurately and cut the chains binding her, letting her fall to her knees. "Can you stand Nishino-san?" Kuro asked her without taking his eyes off of Takeru. He heard a grunt of disappointment, confirming that she could not. That meant that a quick escape was impossible. He had to take out Takeru before getting her out. But that didn't seem so bad at the moment. Takeru on the other hand was quickly losing any trace of his cool that he still clung to. "You just keep trying to defy me, even breaking from our fight to worry about that girl! You've pushed me too far now Kuro! BANKAI!"

Kuro gasped as the word was screamed. The large room suddenly seemed small as a towering giant crab appeared behind Takeru. Its whole body was clad in thick armor, its pincers clinking menacingly at the metal snapped together repeatedly. It stood about four times higher than Takeru and several times wider. Kuro took a step forward towards this new foe, afraid of being too close to Mika when it began to attack. Takeru regained his calm and slowly introduced the new weapon. "Ousama Yousai Towairaitokani. (King Fortress Twilight Crab) This is my mightiest ally who will protect me and destroy my opponent no matter who they are. Now that I've called him out, you're defe-... Kuro cut into Takeru's speech by shunpoing directly at the enormous crab and smashing into its armor on top of its back with a powered up palm strike. The crab's legs buckled from the impact and the amount of strength behind it, but the armor did not give in to Kuro's might at all. The crab bent down, and quickly flung its body up to throw Kuro from its back, following him with a swipe of its armored claw. Kuro dodged the blow, but the floor of the lab was shattered as the massive arm came down on it. Kuro was glad that he was much faster than this thing. The weight of its armor alone gave it the ability to crush him if it landed a hit. Takeru noticed his crab was not getting results and shouted out to it, "Leave him alone and go for the girl! She can't move right now." To Kuro's horror, the crab obeyed and scuttled towards Mika with a surprising speed for something its size. Kuro shunpoed in front of her as it approached and raised both of his gauntlets to fire a continuous blast of energy at the advancing crab. It came at them abetted by the attack, the energy doing nothing to its armor. "Dammit!" Kuro shouted as he turned around and wrapped his arms around Mika as the crab swept them roughly to the side with a swing of its claw. They rolled across the floor ending up in a heap on the other side. Kuro struggled to his knees and quickly turned Mika over onto her side. She was in bad shape, having gone through so much physically and mentally since being kidnapped. He was sorry that his incompetence had led her into this. Hearing the sound of laughter, Kuro turned to see Takeru grinning as wide as he could as the crab stood patiently behind him. "You fell for it Kuro. The only reason I had my bankai attack that weakened girl was to force your hand. Your concentrated energy was a marvelous power source, and your fate it now sealed. Bakudo #61: Rikujōkōrō!" Kuro was suddenly impacted by six thin beams of light that froze him in place. He'd forgotten about Takeru's talent with kido. "Couldn't let you try and dodge this attack. Now Towairaitokani! Use Zennou Bakufuu!" The crab reared up and began charging something in front of its mouth. It looked like it was charging a cero, but the energy was black and white. After many moments, during which Kuro continued to try and break free of the bakudo, the crab fired the energy in a whirling double helix of black and white energy that sailed towards Kuro. Kuro could do nothing to dodge and the blast hit him dead on. Kuro's body almost seemed to explode as the blast hit; energy spiking up from him in a violent pillar of light that blew a hole clean through the ceiling of the room. The light slowly faded, and Kuro fell onto the ground face first. Mika weakly reached out for him, now too worn out to even speak. Takeru watched it all with glee. "My bankai's ultimate ability. It used the energy its armor absorbed from your hasty attempt to protect the girl and hit you with a blast that removes all traces of energy from your body. You are now empty, both physically and spiritually, unable to lift even as much as a finger. You've lost Kuro." As Takeru continued to brag about his overwhelming victory, he failed to see Kuro's sash, hidden between Kuro and the floor under his body. The seventh ring on Kuro's bankai sash slowly filled with light, exploding with energy upon completion. Kuro clumsily stood up slowly as his outfit began to shine while it drew in the spirit power that was abundant in hueco mundo's atmosphere. Takeru was once more shocked beyond belief at Kuro's accomplishments. Before he could speak, Kuro explained. "You're right. I couldn't move at all. But now that I'm absorbing the power around me, my zanpakuto can give me strength enough to move and fight. You had bad luck being my opponent." As Takeru watched, frozen in disbelief, Kuro shunpoed forward and slammed his palm into the crab again. This time, the whole of its armor and the crab itself shattered to pieces under Kuro's strength. Takeru squeaked in fear as Kuro turned his attention to him and shunpoed at him. Takeru took a slash down across his whole front, blood splattering from his wounds as his face blanked. His mind finally gone, the stress and disappointment he'd received today finished him even before Kuro's blade found his neck and decapitated him.

Kuro was still using his zanpakuto to continuously supply him with energy to move. Quickly making his way over to Mika, he gently picked her up and looked towards the hole that the blast earlier had made. Through a vertical shaft that penetrated hundreds of feet of dirt and rock, he saw the sky of hueco mundo far above them. Fueling his boots with absorbed energy, Kuro shunpoed up through the hole with Mika in his arms, taking them into the forest. Not worried about drawing attention anymore, he opened a senkaimon and exited the dark setting, leaving the scene of his worst nightmares behind.

The End
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PostSubject: Re: The Beauty and the Beast   

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The Beauty and the Beast
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